12 Days of Giveaways - Spin & Win! Sign up before Dec. 25th to win daily prizes and a $250 Amazon.com Gift Card. Find out details.

The Top 10 Religion Today Stories of 2006

Shawn McEvoy | Crosswalk Faith Editor | Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Top 10 Religion Today Stories of 2006

In many ways, 2006 was the year of offense, and I don’t mean that in terms of the New Orleans Saints leading the NFL in yardage. Rather, in Religion circles, the news too often focused on offenses against God’s Word or those who are offended by God’s Word.


Chaplains praying in Jesus’ name while in uniform? Offensive. Faith-based prison programs? Unconstitutional. Mega-church pastors inviting pro-choice politicians to their church in the name of AIDS assistance? Apparently unacceptable. And let’s not forget the ever-present irony of how criticizing Muslims as easily-offended and violent may just cause them to become, well, easily-offended and violent (just ask the Pope and any Danish cartoonist). The “right” not to be offended and the cowering to victim-hood have become center-stage in religion today.


High-profile pastors took hits for their own sinful offenses. Churches across Alabama burned to the ground. A movie may have received its PG rating due to presentation of the gospel. We learned that our youth are quickly becoming disengaged from church after leaving high school, and that tithing is well on its way to joining the list of “offensive” church teachings. We also learned how Rosie O’Donnell feels about fundamentalist Christians, as she compared them to the 9/11 terrorists (though as of this writing, it is believed no death warrant has been issued for Ms. O’Donnell on behalf of the religious right).


Some of Crosswalk’s Religion Today features were more popular than others, but that’s not how we arrived at the list below. For instance, our No. 2 story in terms of page views involved an unfortunate young convert in India who, the headline said, had been “tonsured.” Curiosity surely played a factor here, if you, like me, had no idea what “tonsuring” was (basically, his head was shaved).


No, instead, these are the pieces that had the Crosswalk editors putting down their spiritual growth and parenting articles for water cooler discussion in 2006, and, sometimes, just maybe, getting a little offended.


10) Navy chaplain’s ongoing fight to pray in Jesus’ name



9) Darfur conflict ongoing; some Christian ministries leaving



8) Christian movies keep coming (End of the Spear, The Nativity, Facing the Giants (and it’s PG rating))



7) American Christians on the forefront of aid during and after Israeli/Lebanese conflict



6) Gnosticism Returns (Gospel of Judas/DaVinci Code simultaneous release)



5) Muslims offended (Danish cartoons, Pope’s speech)… cartoons offensive to Christians go unapologized for



4) ECUSA/Jefferts-Schori fallout



3) Rick Warren in the middle of divisive issues (global warming, AIDS, Syria, Obama) (list poll results)



2) Ted Haggard steps down from pastorate and NAE



And our top Religion Today story for 2006…


1) Amish response to Pennsylvania schoolhouse shooting